On a recent day Buddy Madrin and Butch Carter stood inside the front room at Port Discover, measuring a display window, and cutting strips of wood. Madrin and Carter were building a habitat for the science center’s bearded dragon, Angus.
Both men were volunteering their time.
Meanwhile, across town, Beverly Madrin was at the Horsley House, the location for the 2012 Design Event, benefiting Arts of the Albemarle. She was busy coordinating the event with other volunteers.
Volunteers, that’s the key word here. Buddy and Beverly Madrin are volunteers. You might say they’re professional volunteers. They’re retired from paying careers and they spend their time donating that time all over the Elizabeth City community.
Buddy Madrin, 66, grew up in Elizabeth City. He’s the son of former Pasquotank County Sheriff Raymond Madrin and former Museum of the Albemarle executive director Gwen Madrin.
Beverly, 65, grew up in Greensboro. While she was attending East Carolina University, Buddy was a student at N.C. State. That’s when the couple met and fell in love.
They spent their careers working in their chosen fields. They lived in places such as Charlotte and Raleigh, but in 2004 they chose to move here, to Elizabeth City.
That’s when they launched into their career as full time volunteers.
The Madrins made a decision that they would immerse themselves into volunteerism full time. They made a decision to give of themselves wherever they could bring their skills and passion to the community.
“We were both around it growing up,” says Buddy of volunteering.
His role models were his parents and aunt Winnie Wood. Beverly says likewise, her parents were her role models.
“I really learned from example from my family,” says Beverly, who was voted as one of five 2012 Elizabeth City Chamber of Commerce Women of Excellence for her work as a volunteer.
Buddy says the first thing the couple did when they moved to Elizabeth City was find a church. They hadn’t been too involved in church life before moving here, largely due to their work schedules.
Their neighbors, Charlie and Tapp Robinson, encouraged them to attend Christ Episcopal Church in Elizabeth City.
“We really wanted to have a church,” says Beverly.
That’s where their volunteerism began, at their church. But the couple also says that because they had made a conscious decision to spend their life volunteering together, they would also spend the first two years here getting a sense of where they were needed, and where their passions would take them.
Beverly says it’s important they be passionate about what they are doing. She says they both agreed that they would need to bring their talents and
skills to bear in order to be of maximum usefulness to their community.
When the couple lived in Raleigh, Buddy owned a construction company, building decks and doing home additions. He says he’s more comfortable volunteering his sweat and so along with Butch Carter, he can be found doing projects such as constructing the habitat at Port Discover.
“I’m more of an Indian than a chief,” says Buddy.
But don’t be fooled by Buddy Madrin, he’s also willing to donate his time to the leadership side of non-profits. He’s also on the board of directors of the science center, as well as other area non-profits.
But Buddy says while he enjoys giving of his time, he’d rather do it under the radar as much as possible.
“To be honest, I’d rather not be seen,” says Buddy. “My favorite is when I’m doing projects and no one knows who did it.”
Beverly worked in the corporate world and she brings a background in organization and ideas with her. She has served on a number of boards, and works to organize charitable events, raising money for organizations that benefit the community.
Her first big project was working on the capital campaign to move Arts of the Albemarle into the historic Lowry-Chesson Building. Community volunteers, resulting in a center that many argue is the centerpiece of downtown Elizabeth City, did the planning and organization along with arts council staff.
Beverly has also been involved with the North Carolina Community Foundation and it’s program, Women Givers, working on women’s issues.
All of this is just a partial list of the volunteer opportunities this couple takes advantage of day-to-day. It’s something they say provides them with satisfaction and keeps them in the thick of a community they love.
“It feeds us,” says Beverly. “We have talents we are using in a community we love.”
The payoff for this volunteering couple is, “working with nice people,” and being with “people who have philanthropic talents.”
“It’s about people,” says Beverly.
“It’s a good way to meet people,” says Buddy.
It goes without saying that the Madrins have the time to donate to organizations and causes, and when you’re younger, raising a family and working full time, volunteering can be more of a challenge. However, Beverly says there are a new generation of givers on the rise in the area, and she hopes to see more and more give freely of themselves and their time for the benefit of the community.
“We need that fresh energy,” says Beverly.
That said, Beverly and Buddy Madrin plan to continue giving of themselves. They say they’ll continue volunteering as long as they can keep up the pace.
“It’s just very rewarding,” says Beverly.